Saturday, August 8, 2009
Rookie vs. All-Star.
As you might have known if you actually tried to follow the Atlanta/San Antonio game, San Antonio is the only city that will not do WNBA Live Access for some reason. However, also for unknown reasons, they will provide an audio feed - I believe it is the Silver Stars radio feed. So my notes come from listening to the game instead of watching it. (My neck just isn't that long.)
However, an index of game pictures can be found here, thanks to SPMSportsPage.com.
1) Starters for Atlanta: Holdsclaw, Lyttle, De Souza, Castro Marques, Lehning. I believe we should now consider Lehning the permanent starter at point guard, because I don't think Meadors is going to start Ivory Latta, ever. It is Lehning's seventh start as a rookie.
Starters for San Antonio: Riley, S. Young, Wauters, Johnson, Hammon. Ann Wauters is back. An interesting blurb about coach Dan Hughes stuck at 149 wins and needing one more for the sesquicentennial. Only Van Chancellor and Michael Cooper have more wins in the WNBA as coaches.
2). With only eight seconds elapsed on the shot clock, Shalee Lehning decides to start the game with a 3-pointer. The attempt is an airball. It's a preminition of the start of the game, where San Antonio shoots 0-for-3 and Atlanta shoots 0-for-2.
3) We hear words that everyone dreads to hear: "Officials for tonight are...Michael Price...."
4) Vickie Johnson scores the first seven points for San Antonio and San Antonio hangs on for a 7-6 lead. The Dream then score the next six points to take a 12-7 lead. Dan Hughes on the radio is talking about the importance of ball movement - which is odd, because this being the radio no one will ever see any of that ball movement.
5) Shalee Lehning is now playing face to face against Becky Hammon. Hammon manages to get a basket but it isn't a complete mismatch. As Atlanta's starters take the bench - Lacy, Latta and McCoughtry are now all in - the Silver Stars tie the game 14-14 on a pair of free throws by Megan Frazee. Up 17-16, Becky Hammon throws an off-balance 3-point attempt with approximately 0.1 seconds left on the clock.
It goes in. The crowd cheers, and the Silver Stars lead at home 20-16.
San Antonio, however, has been held to 28.6 percent shooting. Only the trips to to free throw line have given the Silver Stars the lead. The Dream didn't go to the free throw line at all in the first quarter.
6) With Michelle Snow and Coco Miller on the floor, the start of the second quarter is characterized by a pair of matching runs - an 8-1 run by the Dream followed immediately by an 8-0 run by the Silver Stars marked by Ivory Latta missing two free throws on a shot attempt and a 3-pointer by Angel McCoughtry from 25 feet that probably had no chance of going in.
7) We learn from Michael Price that the loose ball foul is not dead as Ann Wauters is called for it. However, Hammon steals the ball from Lehning which negates the possession.
8) The Dream, however, fall into some good fortune. Ann Wauters gets four free throw attempts late in the second and misses three of them. San Antonio at this point is 2-for-6 from the free throw line.
9) With exactly two minutes left, Shalee Lehning puts on a show. She scores a jumper to tie the score at 33-33 and then McCoughtry steals the ball from Ruth Riley. Lehning finds the reverse layup that she missed in the New York game and scores a basket to put the Dream back into the lead, 35-33. With the game tied at 37-37, Lehning makes a miracle 3-point attempt that leaves her hands literally as time expires.
Michael Price consults the entrails and determines that he wishes to screw with the Silver Stars for a little while. Lehning's shot is good, and the Dream take a 40-37 lead into halftime.
Lehning would have 7 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists at the half.
10) Halftime: The Dream are still shooting at 45 percent or so, but the Silver Stars have climbed to 36.8 percent. Angel McCoughtry and Vickie Johnson lead their respective teams with 9 points each. Sophia Young has 8 points and Becky Hammon has 7 points for the Silver Stars.
11) The third quarter is proof that this will be a close game - once again, both teams trade run. The Dream continue with four more points to put the Dream up 44-37, their biggest lead of the game. Nine San Antonio turnovers have led to 13 Atlanta points.
But the ground shifts again. The Silver Stars score the next six points and Lyttle picks up her third personal foul. The score is suddenly 44-43 in favor of the Dream and both teams will have to fight. The Dream's lead rises and falls, and Becky Hammon turns an Erin Perperoglou steal into a running layup to give the home team their first lead of the third quarter, 52-51 in favor of the Silver Stars.
12) McCoughtry tries another 3-pointer and misses it. Chamique Holdsclaw is keeping us in the game. By the beginning of the quarter, The Claw had only scored 4 points, but by the end of it she'd have 11. Atlanta takes the lead back on a Holdsclaw layup, and she picks up the foul from Sophia Young and the following free throw. Up 58-57, a 3-pointer from Iziane Castro Marques gives us a 61-57 lead....
...but Edwige Lawson-Wade hits a pair of free throws to close Atlanta's lead to two points, 61-59. The Dream get the last possession. After Ivory Latta misses a jumper, Belinda Snell tries to finish the third quarter the way the previous two quarters ended - with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. However, she misses the shot and the Dream keep a tenuous 61-59 lead going into the final quarter.
13) At the end of 30 minutes, the Dream have visited the free throw line 9 times. The Silver Stars have visited the line 20 times.
14) San Antonio scores the first three points of the fourth quarter...and ttie score is tied again. The score goes back and fourth, but by about four minutes in Atlanta is starting to establish a lead again.
Part of the reason is Chamique Holdsclaw. Becky Hammon hits a 3-pointer with 5:19 left to bring the Silver Stars within one point, 74-73. But Chamique Holdsclaw answers right back with her eighth fourth-quarter point. Erika de Souza follows with a layup, and Atlanta's lead is five points, 78-73, with 3:41 left in the game
15) Michelle Snow's job will be to fight off Ann Wauters as Atlanta tries to cling to its small lead for the rest of the game. With 1:54 to go, Erika de Souza scores her eighth point to bring Atlanta back up 82-77, and then Chamique Holdscalw comes throw, stealing the ball from Vickie Johnson off a bad pass. Castro Marques feeds it to Michelle Snow, who scores the jumper to put the Dream up 84-77 with just 1:19 left in the game.
16) Ruth Riley is hit with a loose ball foul. What happens next is never made clear, but Michael Price decides to play the joker card and call a technical foul on Erika de Souza. Becky Hammon gets one free throw, and makes it, but the ball goes back to the Dream.
However, Iziane Castro Marques misses the jumper, and Rebecca Lynn Hammon gets the ball back. She gets fouled by Erika de Souza - her fourth foul - and Hammon sinks both free throws to bring the score to 86-81 with 38.7 seconds left.
17) Shalee Lehning - who had not scored in either quarter - gets the ball on the in-bounds by the dream and lays up the shot! However, Sancho Lyttle is seen holding her left knee and the Dream fans fear the worst....
18) Hammon tries the 3-pointer, but misses the shot. Lyttle - who appears to be okay - gets the rebound and after an Ann Wauters personal foul, Chamique Holdsclaw sinks two shots that make the lead 88-81. Michelle Snow committed a shooting foul with 18 seconds left that sent Becky Hammon to the line.
However, Hammon missed the first of her two free throws. With 18 seconds left, and the Dream up 88-82, all that San Antonio could do was foul. They sent us two times, and we made all of our free throws. Ann Wauters made a lay-up as time expired, but it was not enough as the Dream won 92-84 for their fourth straight win and their first win ever on San Antonio's home court.
Okay. Enough of the game. Statistical post-mortem later.